Almost four of 10 Canadians reported feelings of loneliness or isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press Media File)

Almost four of 10 Canadians reported feelings of loneliness or isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press Media File)

Nearly four of 10 Canadians feeling loneliness or isolation because of COVID-19

Pandemic also worsened the mental health of most Canadians with a positive diagnosis before pandemic

Almost four of 10 Canadians reported feelings of loneliness or isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This figure appears in newly released research from Statistics Canada surveying the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey found about one in five Canadian adults aged 18 and older (21 per cent) screened positive for at least one of three assessed mental disorders during the survey period from September to December 2020: major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers did not specifically ask respondents to report their symptoms in relation to COVID-19. “As such, any reported symptoms may have been present before the beginning of the pandemic,” it reads. This said, the pandemic may have intensified pre-existing symptoms.

“Of those who screened positive for a disorder, 68 per cent reported that their mental health had worsened since the start of the pandemic,” it reads.

RELATED: Researchers study how pandemic affecting people’s mental health

RELATED: Pandemic worsening mental health for women more than men, poll suggests

To better understand the mental health of Canadians negatively affected by the pandemic, researchers compared the prevalence of positive screens for mental disorders between those who experienced various impacts due to the pandemic with those who did not.

While 38 per cent of Canadians said they experienced feelings of loneliness or isolation, this impact was significantly higher among individuals with major depressive disorder (29 per cent versus six per cent), generalized anxiety disorder (25 per cent versus six per cent), and probable PTSD (13 per cent versus two per cent), compared with those who did not report experiencing this impact.

The survey also finds a relation between mental health and financial difficulties. Almost one-third of Canadians who reported financial difficulties due to the pandemic also screened positive for major depressive disorder (32 per cent) or generalized anxiety disorder (29 per cent). Another 17 per cent of Canadians who reported financial difficulties also screened positive for probable PTSD.

By contrast, among individuals who did not experience financial difficulties due to the pandemic, fewer screened positive for depression (12 per cent), anxiety (10 per cent) and probable PTSD (five per cent).

“This pattern is consistent with pre-pandemic findings of an association between higher rates of mental disorders, and low income and financial strain,” it reads. “Those who reported job or income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic also had much higher rates of screening positive for each of the mental disorders compared with those who did not experience that impact due to the pandemic.”


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

”It was an angry welcome for Cowichan-Ladysmith MLA Jan Pullinger when she arrived in Lake Cowichan Monday to open her constituency office. She was greeted with some of her long time supporters calling her a ‘liar’. Left to right, Jan Pullinger, Director of Area I, Lois Gage, school trustee Rolli Gunderson, school trustee Pat Weaver, Save our School Committee Chairperson, Tara Daly.” (Lake News/April 17,1996)
Flashback: Garbage, geography and tragedy

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Parking permits for people with disabilities

These permits are issued to the person, not the vehicle owner or driver.

Dr. Bernhardt’s freshly planted strawberries. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Hoping for a bumper crop of strawberries

Because our new plot gets a lot of sun, maybe strawberries won’t become consumed by wood bugs

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Newton’s first law of motion

I could have sworn I told them to help each other get unbuckled and to come inside.

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Most Read